Saturday, September 27, 2014

Corvallis -> Harrisburg -> Coburg -> Eugene -> Coburg -> Brownsville -> Lebanon -> Corvallis

One of my goals for the summer was to get in a 200k ride, to match the one I did last summer. The Grando was the perfect bike for it. Got up early and was on the bike by 5 AM. The B&M light on my front rack was adjusted just right, and it was great fun riding Peoria road in the dark. When it starting getting light just before Harrisburg I could see that I had been doing about 16 mph the whole way. The Grando definitely makes me faster.

Got to Eugene before 9. The bike shop I wanted to visit opened at 10 so I just rode around a bit, getting a feel for Eugene. I have great praise for the "Arriving by bike" shop in Eugene. Their focus is on urban and cargo bike but they have everything. The first thing you see when you walk in is an amazing display of Brooks saddles. Our shops here in Corvallis maybe stock one or two, they have dozens! They had the Zefal frame pump I wanted so I got that. The mechanic tightened my head set no change. Great service and a great shop.

It was cloudy and cool in Eugene but it looked like the sun was starting to break through, but heading north back to Coburg I was riding into a storm! Just a little drizzle but a steady headwind that was starting to wear me out. I finally got some relief when I got into the hills on Gap road. Got to Brownsville by 2:30 and had lunch at the cafe, which serves great sandwiches on home made bread. By now the sun was coming out and it was finally warming up. I decided to follow the Strawberry Century route to Lebannon to get the miles I needed. I was pretty tired when I got to Thompson Mills so I stopped and took a nap at one of the picnic tables. The wind was still steady out of the north so I was glad my route kind of zigzagged east and north instead of heading straight into it.

By the time I got back across the valley on Tangent road it was an absolutely gorgeous autumn afternoon. I slowed the pace just to enjoy the rest of the ride. Got home around 6, so subtracting the hour and a half I spent in Eugene I made the 200k in less than 12 hours. The time limit for a 200-kilometer brevet is 13.5 hours so I still qualify.